Today, I’d like to introduce you to the author of The Gifted, J.A. George.
1. What inspired you to write Gifted?
I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy that doesn’t feature a chosen one, instant love or a female protagonist who fights crime on a daily basis. I just wanted to read about someone ordinary and relatable for a change. I wanted to look at decisions and choices because even the minor ones have a huge impact on our lives, whether we notice it right away or see it in the long run. I also wanted to read about real young adult relationships and friendships. Mixing those all together resulted in Gifted.
2.Do you have a music playlist while you’re writing?
Oh no! I’m one of those people who cannot concentrate when listing to music because I lose focus and end up just listening to the music!
3. If you could change anything about Gifted, what would it be and why?
Nothing! Honestly. This published version of Gifted is the second edition and the first edition was completely different. When writing the first edition I only thought about whether readers would like it and whether it will sell or not, so Gifted ended up like many of the YA books already published because I forced myself to try and write solely for the book market. I ended up disliking Gifted entirely because it became a book I didn’t want to read. Two years later, I redrafted it to such an extent that I ended up changing close to 95% of the entire novel. So I think I’ve managed to change everything I wanted to! You never know though. I may read through it again and spot something else I want to change, but it’ll only be something minor. Some readers say they’d like the plot to move quicker. If I did that readers would end up very confused; things need to be explained in order for you to understand events in the upcoming books. If I rush it, readers will end up missing a lot!
4. Who do you relate to the most in Gifted?
Definitely Ava; she’s the most human character I think I’ll ever create. She’s just so real. She’s sarcastic, strong-willed and funny, but she’s also insecure and worries about little things, like we all do. She’s not the skinniest and she’s not the prettiest and sometimes that bothers her, but she’s freaking awesome just the way she is and soon enough she’ll realise that herself.
5. Who would you want to be best friends with in Gifted?
All of them please! Most readers pick Baleigh but because I know what happens to all the main characters in the series, I know how truly amazing they all are.
6. Are any of the characters in the book inspired by people that are in your life?
I honestly don’t think so. I wanted to make up characters from scratch because I feel like if I were to base it on other people, I’d feel restricted because I’d end up thinking, “Would that person really say that? Would they really do that?” Instead, some traits are borrowed from a few of my friends e.g. sarcasm, shyness etc.
7. Can you tell us 2 truths and 1 lie?
About Gifted? Hmmm, let’s see. Three of my main characters die by then end of the series. There will actually be five books instead of the four I keep telling people. Book two will be out by the end of 2016.
Just to say: any of these could change!
8. Why did you decide to become an author?
Well, it’s a long story but I’ll try to keep it short! I was on a train on my way home from university one day when I suddenly decided that the course I was doing wasn’t making me happy. I realised that the only reason I was on that course was because it pretty much guaranteed me a financially secure future. A few thoughts, a few quiet whispers to myself and a few odd looks from passengers later, I came to the conclusion that life is too short to spend another minute not doing what I love. Everyone thinks if they eat healthily enough and don’t play in traffic, they’ll live until they’re at least eighty and so put off working for their dream because they keep telling themselves they’ll have plenty of time. I don’t believe time is guaranteed to anyone, so I got home, purchased a mini laptop and spent my ninety minute journeys to university writing. Soon after that, I left my course to study one that had more to do with what I wanted to achieve and…the rest is history.
9. Do you think you can tell us what’s next for you?
Book two! All I hear is “When is book two out?!” and it’s the best thing any author writing a series can hear, so I’m working on that at the moment!
J.A. George will be giving away 2 E-COPIES of The Gifted. This giveaway is international!
There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.
Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.
However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.
Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her